Forewarning…this is a very serious post. It is also the post I promised I would never write: an update on my life. However, I do feel it is necessary, as there have been obvious signs of issues behind the scenes the last two months, such as the site moving, me taking uncharacteristic week-long absences from any posts or responses here, and unfortunate cryptic apologies written in the posts and responses that I have managed to write. Secondly, I also feel it is necessary as it directly effects the content herein, namely ‘guitar playing’ and ‘worship leading’, but most importantly the journey we all find ourselves traversing in order to somehow, someway, glorify God.
Due to courses of events set in motion about two months ago, I resigned my position as worship pastor at my home church as of two weeks ago. This past Sunday was my last day leading worship there. Of my own volition, the details and in-depth reasons for my resignation will not be mentioned in a public forum such as this blog; it is not about hurting people, but is rather about letting you know where I’m at, and where the posts the last couple months have come from. So the concise, and official reason for my decision is ‘due to reasons of conscience.’ And when I say ‘conscience’, I’m not referring to what you’d think I’m referring to; meaning, I’m not resigning because my conscience isn’t clear about the church banning all tube amps from being on stage, or the pastor saying God gave him a revelation that delay pedals were no longer to be used in service. Or even something larger like the choice of songs, or differences in vision for the worship ministry. ‘Conscience’ refers to real, concrete, and unfortunately heavy Biblical differences, for which I feel that in order for myself personally to follow Jesus Christ’s example, I can no longer serve at my home church.
This decision has not been made flippantly, but has come after six weeks of intense praying, reading the words of Jesus, countless conversations with mentors, gut-wrenching personal meetings with those with whom I have Biblical differences, and much discussion with my incredibly supportive, wise, and Godly wife. I searched everywhere for another way out of this, but in the end, any way out other than standing on what I believe Jesus to be saying, would have been disobedience. Could I be wrong? Absolutely. I want to be humble enough to realize that I do not have all the answers. And in five years, I might look back on this and realize that I was dead wrong. However, after two months of praying, studying the Bible, and seeking Godly counsel, it came to a point where I had to make a decision; as well as, being on the core leadership of the church, I was asked point-blank to make a decision.
Needless to say (that’s such a pointless phrase, because you know I’m going to say it anyway), it has been a heartbreaking last two months. I’ve been at this church since I was nineteen, and am still continuing to be close friends with the leaders, staff, and members there. After all, I am going to spend eternity with these people. But for now, it is a very difficult time. God has not called me to take a step of faith like this in a long time. As of now, there is no other church to step onto, no other job or source of income lined up, and no plans besides God’s leading; which, if you know me or have read this blog for any amount of time, you’ll probably get how uncharacteristic this is of me. There’s a line in Lewis’ The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe where a character asks about the metaphorical Jesus depicted in the book. And she asks, ‘Is he safe?’ And the response is, ‘Safe? Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good.’ How I wish the Bible at any point mentioned that He were safe…but we can take comfort in the fact that He is good.
So what now? Well, at this point, looks like I have a lot more time for the blog! hehe Obviously, I did move blog domains, in order to better accommodate advertisements, which hopefully in the future might become a source of revenue as right now, I…well…have none. It has also helped make this place feel a little more accessible and homey, which I like. Other than that, there are no other plans except for pure excitement at what God may be doing in my life. That might mean another church, it might mean working at Home Depot, and it might mean something about which I have no idea as of yet. But there is a peace to knowing you’re in His purpose; and…let’s be honest…a certain amount of frighteningness. But that’s what forces us to rely on Him.
Time to begin again. And, as with every stage of life, there is a U2 song to give it a soundtrack:
To those of you who have been praying for me, I cannot say thank you enough for that encouragement. It means the world. It’s a difficult thing when God asks you to live it, rather than just talking (or blogging) about it, and I am so appreciative of everyone who has been helping me through it. Looking forward to the day when I can email everyone’s questions back without an apology for the length of time between responses, and we can just get on to talking about delay pedals.